When he left Palestine in 1920, the British Governor of the capital said, "After Jerusalem there can be no higher promotion."
For him, as for millions of others, there was no counterpart to Jerusalem in the history of the West.
Jerusalem was the center of two faiths, and holy to a third. It was the light. The guardian of ideals. The eternal city. The symbol of perfection.
But as well as the Jerusalem of the mind, there is also the Jerusalem of reality. There is the modern city developed in the last century, and the ancient city where 25,000 people still live and work within medieval fortress walls.
Which of the two forms should you choose? The answer is usually forced on you by the circumstances and by the nature of the film. Most sponsors like to receive a full commentary script even though they know it will most likely change at a later date. Seeing just the visuals or a list of ideas means little to sponsors. By contrast, it is very easy to understand the film through the commentary. Even a television documentary department, familiar with all sorts of presentations, may require a draft commentary script before letting you do a history or personality film. And the same may be true of foundations to which you have applied for a grant. For many films, however, it is quite clear that you will be able to write the commentary only at the end. These may be political films, news documentaries, or any films that are constantly evolving or that are essentially built in the editing phase. In such cases, the best you can do is set out the ideas you want to use to guide you through the film and write the commentary when the editing is finished.
When I have the choice, I prefer to write a first draft (for my eyes only) using the idea form, then rewrite the script with commentary for presentation. This double work is not strictly necessary, but I find that it helps me focus my ideas.
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